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Spike Sedge

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Carex spicata is a species of sedge in the genus Carex

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Spike Sedge - Carex nadina

Spike Sedge – Carex nadina is an herbaceous, grass-like, evergreen perennial. Spike Sedge looks like grasses, with long, narrow, parallel-veined leaves growing from a central point, but their stems are triangular in cross-section, rather than round. Flowers bloom in the spring on the straight stems. The flowers and seeds may draw insects and birds.

Spike Sedge is a member of the sedge family, which includes almost 2,000 species world-wide. Male and female flowers may grow on the same stem but in different places, or on separate stems. The flowers are followed in July and August by seedheads which form attractive tufts. 

Spike Sedge is hardy in zones 2 through 6.

Most sedges grow in wetlands and Arctic and alpine (high mountain) tundra. The majority of garden sedges thrive in moist shade, an environment where grass does not do well. Sedges can thus provide the open, airy, vertical look of ornamental grasses in shade plantings. Plant breeders have created varieties with interesting growth habits, leaf colors, and markings. Native sedges go well in natural landscape plantings. Sedges can make excellent container plants for patios and terraces.

Spike Sedge is native to the mountainous areas of the western US and Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Canada in hardiness zones 2 to 6. Unlike most other sedges, it prefers sun and dry sandy soil. It grows naturally in areas with limestone outcroppings, making it suitable for rock gardens with limestone ledge or boulders. It prefers rich soil (pH > 7.2). It grows 1 to 3 feet tall with fibrous roots. In hot areas, it may go dormant during the summer.

Spike Sedge are easy to maintain.

Sedges are easy to maintain as long as they have enough water. They seldom need fertilizer. Deer and rabbits leave them alone, and they have few pests or diseases. When plants look tattered, they can be cut back by about 1/3. Divide if the center starts to die out. Sedges can be propagated by seeds or division.

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